Riverside Art Museum announces a $100,000 matching gift from the Wingate Foundation that launches its inaugural Acquisitions Fund. The fund will support future purchases for the museum’s permanent collections, which includes the core collection of The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture. Until now, additions to the museum’s permanent collections have been largely reliant on donations and gifts of artworks (with occasional donor-supported purchases) recommended by museum curators and administrators for review and acceptance after a rigorous research and selection process.

Since opening The Cheech and its own founding over 50 years ago, Riverside Art Museum has focused on adding artworks to its permanent collections by artists with a range of styles and backgrounds and whose work resonates with the region. In addition to more than 500 works by Chicano artists gifted by Cheech Marin for The Cheech, RAM’s permanent collections include 1,500 other works. Notable are works by abstract painter Karl Benjamin (one of four renowned Southern California Abstract Classicists), Rex Brandt (whose oeuvre consists of paintings inspired by the life and geography of the West Coast), and Millard Sheets (best known for his watercolor landscape paintings and often featuring Surrealist imagery and iconography).

Over the past year and a half, Riverside Art Museum has added over 150 works by nearly 90 artists; a majority who are new to the permanent collections. Spanning from 1920 to 2023, all of these works augment the museum’s joint holdings and amplify the commitment to equitably diversify acquisitions and to collect from innovative points of view. Diverse in mediums, the latest additions to RAM’s permanent collections range from sculpture to works on paper and paintings to photographs.

For the Julia Morgan Building, a prominent highlight of the more than 70 works by over 40 artists donated to the RAM is a gift of two dozen mixed-media works on paper by Los Angeles artist Sandra Rowe.

For The Cheech, 80 works by almost 35 artists have been donated since June 2022. New to the core collection of The Cheech are works by established women artists Barbara Carrasco, Yreina D. Cervántez, Ester Hernández, Judithe Hernández, Yolanda López, and Patricia Rodriguez. Also newly represented in the holdings of The Cheech are artists Eduardo Carrillo, Rosy Cortez, Rupert García, Stephanie García, Luis C. Garza, Ed Gómez, Jaime Guerrero, Susan Guevara, Gerardo Monterrubio, Jesse E. Rodriguez, F. John Sierra, Paul Valadez, and Perry Vásquez.

Other recently accepted gifts were artworks by artists already represented in The Cheech’s collection, including Carlos Almaraz, William José Acedo, Pablo Andrés Cristi, Sonya Fe, David Flury, Margaret García, Diane Gamboa, Yolanda González, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Jeannette L. Herrera, Leo Limon, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Jimmy Peña, Sandy Rodriguez, Frank Romero, Sonia Romero, Ricardo Ruiz, Marta Sánchez, Shizu Saldamando, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, George Yepes, and José Luís Zuno.

“These additions to our permanent collections reflect our dedication and responsibility to represent narratives of our region and beyond, and to build on the generous gifts of Cheech and other donors. Our goal is to continue the transformative work that shapes the future of our collections, exhibitions, and programming at The Cheech and RAM’s Julia Morgan Building,” stated Drew Oberjuerge, Executive Director, Riverside Art Museum.

As part of its $500,000 gift to Riverside Art Museum to support The Cheech, the Wingate Foundation designated $100,000 for artwork acquisitions. The foundation’s intent of requiring a 1:1 match is to inspire collectors and donors to help expand the breadth of Marin’s gift of over 500 artworks. “Our goal is to help RAM build on Cheech’s generosity and to further his legacy at The Cheech by adding important representative (and new) works by established artists, continuing to seek out works by emerging artists, and diversifying his collection’s strong focus on paintings and prints with acquisitions of sculpture, photography, and video art,” shared Todd Wingate.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the Wingate Foundation. This donation will allow us to work towards achieving the goals of The Cheech to expand the breadth of artists who are centered in our space, allowing for new and necessary research into the complexity and powerful contributions of Chicanx art,” said María Esther Fernández, Artistic Director of The Cheech.

To submit an artwork for review and consideration, send an email to Jacob Willson, Registrar, at jwillson@riversideartmuseum.org. To contribute financially to RAM’s Acquisitions Fund, contact Valerie Found, Director of Development, at vfound@riversideartmuseum.org

ABOUT RIVERSIDE ART MUSEUM + THE CHEECH: Since 1967, the Riverside Art Museum (3425 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501) has been housed in a 1929 building designed by Hearst Castle and AIA Gold Medal-winning architect Julia Morgan, registered on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated a Historic Landmark by the City of Riverside. Riverside Art Museum integrates art into the lives of people in a way that engages, inspires, and builds community by providing regionally focused exhibitions, programming, events, and arts education that instill a lifelong love of the arts.

Open since June 17, 2022, The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture aka “The Cheech” (3581 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501) resides in a renovated mid-century building that originally opened as the City of Riverside, California’s public library in 1964. Dedicated to showcasing Chicana/o/x art, honoring and exploring its continued social, cultural, and political impact, it’s the first cultural center of its kind. The Cheech is home to the unparalleled Cheech Marin Collection of Chicano art. It is a space for continued exhibition, scholarship, and dialogue of Chicano art’s deep roots in the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s to its contemporary and evolving response to current social conditions and global artistic movements.

ABOUT THE WINGATE FOUNDATION: The Wingate Foundation is a private foundation based in Riverside, California. Known for generously supporting causes great and small, John H. Wingate, Jr. founded the Wingate Foundation in 1998. After his passing in 2012, his son Todd Wingate took over operations for the foundation, which now focuses on providing grants that support the arts and the communities of the Inland Empire. Recent grant recipients include The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, UC Riverside, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire, and Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino Counties.